Jump Rhythm® Technique (JRT) is a vocally accompanied, rhythm-driven system of dance and theatre-movement training. Created and developed by Billy Siegenfeld over 25 years, it’s an approach that invites making strong, sharply accented rhythms through hands, head, and feet while singing those same rhythms through the scat-singing voice.
Fueled by the beat-driven, syncopated sounds of the blues, swing, funk, hip-hop, and world music, a typical JRT class involves using the body’s primary “drumbeaters” – the hands, head, and rhythm-singing voice – to turn the body into an energy-charged instrument of percussive music-making. These drumbeaters “play” rhythmic accents against the “drumheads” of the space – both the imaginary spaces surrounding the body and the actual, drummable surfaces of the floor. As a form of tap-dancing through the hands and head as well as the feet, Jump Rhythm® Technique uniquely combines body and voice to give outward musical expression to one’s inside-felt physical and emotional energies.
The relaxation-based, injury-preventive, movement-efficient alignment concept called Standing Down Straight® (SDS) forms the basis of all warm-up exercises and combinations in this approach. Excess strain or “holding” tension is reduced if not eliminated because SDS invites the body to drop its center of gravity, let go of joint tension, and embrace a “down” relationship to the floor. From this base of grounded relaxation, the primary drumbeaters of the hands, head, and voice percuss rhythmic energy forward into space, allowing the performer to attack movement with powerful, animal-like instincts and fluency.
“There is nothing in conservatory and undergraduate dance training that teaches students to embody Time, Space, and Energy the way Jump Rhythm does. It serves, in my opinion, as the true foundational technique of all dance and theatre movement. It is the happy precursor to everything we do in dancing, acting, or musical theatre. It is also for anyone who simply loves to move in a way that fills the mind and body with music and joy.”
(Martie Barylick, CMA/Certified Movement Analyst; instructor in graduate dance education, Rutgers University and New York University)
“Jump Rhythm Technique teaches students how to embrace the inside of rhythm.”
For more information about Jump Rhythm® Technique and Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, visit www.jrjp,org.
Thelma's Tap Notes
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO TEACHING TAP: CHILDREN'S EDITION
Information about what to teach, when to teach it and how to teach it is included. Class Outlines, Music Recommendations, Combos, Choreography Ideas, Musical Rhythms, Improvisation Activities as well as Tap History provide material and guidance for both the experienced and new tap educator. Included are exercises and drills based on a series of progressively challenging rhythms to promote sequential progress in the major areas of tap education. Inspiring photos of tap students in action reinforce the passion and joy of sharing rhythms for both students and teachers.